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Article|01 Feb 2020|OPEN
MdMYB8 is associated with flavonol biosynthesis via the activation of the MdFLS promoter in the fruits of Malus crabapple
Hua Li1,2, Yu Li1,2, Jiaxuan Yu1,2, Ting Wu3, Jie Zhang1,2, Ji Tian1,2, & Yuncong Yao1,2,
1Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Tree Breeding by Molecular Design, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing, China
2Department of Plant Science and Technology, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing, China
3College of Horticulture, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

Horticulture Research 7,
Article number: 19 (2020)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2020.19
Views: 761

Received: 23 Jul 2019
Revised: 10 Dec 2019
Accepted: 11 Dec 2019
Published online: 01 Feb 2020


Flavonols are polyphenolic compounds that play important roles in plant stress resistance and development. They are also valuable components of the human diet. The Malus crabapple cultivar ‘Flame’ provides an excellent model for studying flavonol biosynthesis due to the high flavonol content of its fruit peel. To obtain a more detailed understanding of the flavonol regulatory network involved in fruit development, the transcriptomes of the fruit of the Malus cv. ‘Flame’ from five continuous developmental stages were analyzed using RNA sequencing. A flavonol-related gene module was identified through weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA), and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis indicated that phytohormones are involved in regulating flavonol biosynthesis during fruit development. A putative transcription factor, MdMYB8, was selected for further study through hub gene correlation network analysis and yeast one-hybrid assays. Stable overexpression or RNAi knockdown of MdMYB8 in transgenic ‘Orin’ apple calli resulted in a higher or lower flavonol content, respectively, suggesting that MdMYB8 is a regulator of flavonol biosynthesis. This transcriptome analysis provides valuable data for future studies of flavonol synthesis and regulation.